Crystal Palace vs. Liverpool – FA Cup Fifth Round
Venue: Selhurst Park – Saturday, February 14th – 17:30
Match Odds: Crystal Palace 5/2 – Draw 12/5 – Liverpool 21/20
Crystal Palace are still looking to win their first ever FA Cup after coming closest when they were runners-up in 1990 when current Palace manager Alan Pardew was in the team for the final and the replay.
While Liverpool are aiming to win their eighth and their first FA Cup since 2006 where they beat Alan Pardew’s former side West Ham in Cardiff.
Crystal Palace are a side that have been rejuvenated since Pardew’s appointment and their strong run saw them win 3-2 at Southampton in the fourth round and 4-0 at Dover in the third round.
They look to be heading for safety in the Premier League and a cup run would be a huge bonus for the South London side. Palace are coming off a midweek draw with Newcastle United as they came from behind again to earn another valuable point.
Crystal Palace’s home record in all competitions: Played 13 – Won 3 – Drawn 3 – Lost 7
Liverpool are heading to Selhurst Park for the second time this season. Their trip down south in the Premier League saw them lose 3-1. But now the Reds are thriving on confidence having lost one game in all competitions since the 3-0 loss at Old Trafford in December.
Liverpool were forced into a replay by Championship side Bolton Wanderers in the last round and demonstrated their own comeback mentality by scoring two goals in the last few minutes, while they saw off AFC Wimbledon 2-1 in the third round.
Liverpool’s away record in all competitions: Played 18 – Won 8 – Drawn 2 – Lost 8
The bad news for Liverpool is that captain Steven Gerrard is a doubt for the game after picking up a hamstring injury against Tottenham in the 3-2 win at Anfield on Tuesday.
The FA Cup final will take place on the same day as Steven Gerrard’s 35th birthday and if the Reds reach that stage it would probably be the Englishman’s final game in a Liverpool shirt. But they need to see of Palace before they can even think about that.
Liverpool do not have fond memories of Selhurst Park in recent times as the game late in the season last year resulted in a 3-3 draw in which Palace fought back from 3-0 down with 11 minutes to go. And there could be plenty of goals again on Saturday.
Crystal Palace’s last five in all competitions: W/W/L/W/D
Liverpool’s last five in all competitions: L/W/W/D/W
Key Stat: Liverpool have not won at Selhurst Park since December 1997, when they won 3-0.
Key Player: Dwight Gayle – The forward has scored 4 goals in 3 appearances against Liverpool and comes into the game in good form.
Score Prediction: Crystal Palace 2-0 Liverpool – Selhurst Park will be roaring. The players will be energised from the support and Liverpool will struggle to break the mean Palace defence. Upset on the cards.